Last night Orange 20 hosted the second community meeting about the escalation of bicycle thefts and violence and what our cycling community can do. (The first one was at Echo Park Cycles about three weeks ago.)
There were two LAPD senior lead officers there, one from Rampart Division and another, Irene, from MacArthur Park, who had been at the first meeting. The Rampart officer was really surprised to have heard about the escalation and said he had no idea. He said that really the only way for LAPD to legally help us and track is for us to report EVERY THEFT. He acknowledged that trying to get a car out to you when you first notice the theft is going to take a long time if at all because unless an assault is involved it's a low priority for them, but he couldn't stress enough that it's important to file a report. You can call 311 or go to the Rampart division on 1401 West 6th St.(2 blocks east of Union Ave.) to do this.
They also suggested that you photograph your bicycle and valuable parts and write down the serial number which can be located here.
Roadblock from Midnight Ridazz is fulfilling TJ of Orange 20's dream of creating a Web 2.0 application that will allow cyclists to track not only bike thefts or assaults, but also problem areas, altercations with motorists and other good info. He's a true gem of a bike buddy. LAPD may then be able to take a report that was filed and use this site to track common problem sites.
Finally, as some of you may already know, Chief Beck had a community meeting also addressing this and he has appointed Lieutenant Andre Dawson as a Bicycle Liason. You can reach him at 213-792-3551.
Bottom line: we as a cycling community are lucky to have folks who are willing to take a leadership role and come together using all of the resources at our disposal to take our bikes back! It's enough we have to deal with just navigating the streets everyday, we can't fend off bike jackers on top of it all.
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